Review: The Sumage Solution by G.L. Carriger

Review: The Sumage Solution by G.L. CarrigerThe Sumage Solution by G.L. Carriger
Series: San Andreas Shifters #1
July 18, 2017
Genres: Romance
Pages: 313
Format: Audio
Source: Purchased
Narrator: Kurt Graves
Length: 10 Hrs
Amazon US

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

NYT bestseller Gail Carriger, writing as G. L. Carriger, presents an offbeat gay romance in which a sexy werewolf with a white knight complex meets a bad boy mage with an attitude problem. Sparks (and other things) fly.

Max fails everything - magic, relationships, life. So he works for DURPS (the DMV for supernatural creatures) as a sumage, cleaning up other mages’ messes. The job sucks and he’s in no mood to cope with redneck biker werewolves. Unfortunately, there’s something oddly appealing about the huge, muscled Beta visiting his office for processing.

Bryan AKA Biff (yeah, he knows) is gay but he’s not out. There’s a good chance Max might be reason enough to leave the closet, if he can only get the man to go on a date. Everyone knows werewolves hate mages, but Bryan is determined to prove everyone wrong, even the mage in question.

Delicate Sensibilities?
This story contains M/M sexitimes and horrible puns. If you get offended easily, then you probably will. The ¬¬¬¬San Andreas Shifter stories contain blue language, dirty deeds, and outright admiration for the San Francisco Bay Area. Not for the faint of heart (mouth/tongue/etc.).

This book stands alone, but there is a prequel short story featuring Bryan’s brother, Alec, the Alpha. Want to know why the pack moved? Read Marine Biology.

I can’t tell you how saddened I am to have not enjoyed The Sumage Solution. Well, that’s not exactly true. I can tell you. I will tell you. But, I’m not happy about it.

I love Gail Carriger. I love shifters. I love male/male romance. So…of course, this sounded like the perfect book to grab, yeah? For some of you who also love those three things, it will be the perfect book for you to grab. Though, it did not work for me.

Okay, quick breakdown. An East coast, newly formed, pack moves out to the Bay area in search of a new start for their members that don’t really fit in to what a “normal” pack looks like. We’re talking gay werewolves, inter-species mating, atypical alpha’s and beta’s. You get the picture, they want a place where they will be accepted for who they are. San Francisco sounds perfect.

Biff (yes, you read that right) is the Beta and it’s his responsibility to properly register the pack with the local paranormal authorities. Biff is not an outed homosexual yet, though most of his pack, including his brother (and Alpha) are. Biff was once married to a woman and he’s pretty tight lipped about all things, especially his own feelings.

While registering, he meets Max. Max is a failed mage, also gay and they have an immediate connection. Max has some family history that weighs on his life pretty heavily. As his and Biff’s relationship grows, Max’s problems do as well.

All of that ^^ is well and good. I had zero problem with the world Carriger built, and no issues with the overall plot lines. So, why the two star rating?

Two things:

1 – The language. Some of the actual words used turned me off soooo much. Look, I get that these are shifters and their ‘rough’. But the words spunk and jizz do nothing for me. Or, nothing good. There were too many occasions where words such as these were used and I actually, physically, cringed. But – she pairs these words with some other quite sophisticated vocabulary (if you’ve read some of her other titles, you know her usual style) and it THAT threw me off even more. We’re coquettishly holding teacups after we spunk all over each other?

2 – The inner speech bubbles. These two have a lot of random thoughts and every time, they felt off or just a little cheeseball. I would have much rather had a written description of what they were feeling as opposed to these strange comments happening inside their minds. It kind of gave me Fifty Shades inner goddess feels, and I was not a fan of that either. 

Like I said, I’m sure there is an audience out there who won’t find these things irritating. I’m just not that audience. It could also be that the narrator didn’t work for me…made these things sound stronger than what my own inner voice would have sounded like. It’s hard to say. I might try book two without the audio to see if I have different feels. I’m not ready to give up, damn it!

About Gail Carriger

Gail Carriger writes steampunk comedies of manners mixed with urban fantasy. Her books include the Parasol Protectorate and Custard Protocol series for adults, and the Finishing School series for young adults. She is published in 18 different languages and has 13 NYT bestsellers via 7 different lists (including #1 in Manga). She was once an archaeologist and is overly fond of shoes, octopuses, and tea.

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